Gonzalez & Steenkiste are a duo who have their name like Simon & Garfunkel or Sonny & Cher, but they don’t really sound like them or even Hall & Oates (Especially not Oates!) Lucky for you, I’m going to give you some insight into my process of writing because it does pertain to this review. When I listen to cassettes to review, I take notes as an almost play by play so that I can remember what I heard when I go back and read them to write the review.
For this particular review, I read what I thought to be “French astronaut” and wondered how something like that would sound and couldn’t come up with an answer before I realized it said “French restaurant”. So, if nothing else, perhaps Gonzalez & Steenkiste will now start tagging all of their music on Bandcamp under “French astronaut”.
This cassette begins with some sharp feedback, then dinging of bells and a hum drone noise. There is this ambient noise next that has an accordion type of synth vibe to it, which is where the idea of the French restaurant comes in. In some twisted sense, this could be the soundtrack to “Lady and the Tramp”, or it at least makes me think of that movie. On some levels, this also sounds a bit like traffic, and then we go back to the quieter dings before the side ends.
Side B has a stretch of feedback drone that goes on for a long time without any change. Eventually, it gets this slight do-do sound in the background, almost as if it is some sort of weak siren. It then gets this sort of gunslinger vibe going, which leads to a dark sort of cello being played. If nothing else, this has led me to decide what this cassette is all about.
“Dimly Lit” refers to the French restaurant from Side A, obviously. Something happens at that restaurant and I can’t say what but someone is harmed somehow. You have to visualize Side A as ending with the person being taken away in an ambulance, sirens ablaze, as the other person is standing outside of the restaurant, the scene of the crime.
This leads to the person going through a dark period—that drone has the person seeing red and not thinking clearly. The gunslinger comes out because our main character goes back to the restaurant (Perhaps the dinging symbolizes when we are there) and opens fire on the entire staff, avenging his friend who was taken away in the ambulance.